COVID-19 coronavirus: Venue capacity frequently asked questions

Guidance
FAQs about the capacity limits for WA venues.

Last updated: 12 April 2021 at 8:10am

 

What are the capacity restrictions for WA venues?

There are different capacity limits for different types of venues, depending on whether they are seated or unseated. The below list outlines what restrictions apply.

100 per cent capacity

Certain seated indoor and outdoor venues with fixed seating are permitted to operate at 100 per cent of the fixed seating capacity. This applies to:

  • WA’s major venues (Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium – Main Arena, HBF Park)
  • Indoor and outdoor  fixed seating entertainment spaces including:
    • auditoriums and amphitheatres
    • theatres
    • concert halls
    • cinemas
    • comedy lounges
    • performing arts centres
  • Ticketed, fixed seated events with an approved COVID Event Plan. 

Places of worship will be able to have 100 per cent of the capacity of a space being used for formal worship.

 75 per cent capacity

Specified hospitality venues that only provide seated service are permitted to operate at 75 per cent capacity. This applies to:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels (excluding bottleshop)
  • Cafes
  • Food courts
  • Bars with seated service only.

2 square metre (2sqm) rule

The 2sqm rule remains for all other venues. This includes:

  • Nightclubs
  • Unseated bars
  • Unseated events/festivals (music, beer, wine, cultural etc.)
  • Galleries
  • Museums
  • Libraries
  • Sport and recreation facilities including gyms, recreation centres, group fitness classes and indoor and outdoor swimming pools
  • Amusement parks
  • Wildlife parks and the Zoo
  • Function centres
  • Community, recreation or youth centre or facility, including but not limited to community halls, sporting clubs, Returned and Services League facilities, and Police and Community Youth Centres
  • Adult entertainment premises, including but not limited to strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues
  • Casino and gambling venues
  • Arcades
  • Funeral parlours
  • Events that involve unfixed seating (e.g. BYO chair concerts)

What is the capacity for venues that have both seating and standing?

Mixed venues where seating and standing is permitted must continue to apply the 2sqm rule for the entire premises, unless the seated space is separated from the standing or mixed area and there is a sufficient dividing structure segregating the two areas.

If the seated and standing areas in a mixed venue are sufficiently segregated, the area providing the seated service only can operate at 75 per cent capacity.

Why are only some venues able to operate at 75 or 100 per cent capacity and remove the 2sqm rule?

Increasing capacity for fixed seated venues or events where movement is generally more restricted is considered a measured approach to managing any community safety issues associated with a COVID outbreak. The 2sqm rule for other locations remains the safest manner in which to permit gatherings and is in accordance with national health recommendations

Applying 75 per cent capacity means that I will have less capacity than the 2 square metre rule. Can I continue applying the 2 square metre rule?

Yes, you can continue applying the 2 square metre rule if, due to the layout of your premises, 75 per cent of the capacity is less than the capacity allowed under the 2 square metre rule.

The owner or person in charge will still need to comply with any other legal requirements to which they are otherwise subject. Eg.  S 178 - Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911 (WA).

Masks

Do I have to wear a mask while at a venue?

It is not mandatory to wear a mask while at a venue.

Do I have to wear a mask if I am using public transport to get to and from a venue?

Mask wearing on entry and exit and on public transport to places like outdoor stadiums is encouraged, but not mandated at this stage.

Events

What are the capacity limits for events?

Events with over 500 people are subject to the 2sqm rule up to a maximum of 10,000 people.

There may be increased capacity if an event is held at a venue where increased capacity applies, such as some outdoor seated events (i.e. events at Optus Stadium; outdoor auditoriums). This depends on the nature of the event and is subject to an approved COVID Event Plan.

For more information visit COVID-19 coronavirus: Events.

What is the definition of fixed seating?

Fixed seating includes those seats that are affixed to the floor or fastened together in blocks of no less than four or that form part of the immovable structure of a place (e.g. tiers of a grandstand or amphitheatre).

Are BYO chair and picnic rug style events permitted to increase their capacity?

No, BYO chairs and picnic rugs are not considered fixed seating and will remain at 2sqm.

Do I still need a COVID Event Plan?

Public or private events of more than 500 patrons that requires a Local Government Authority approval are required to complete a COVID Event Plan and have it approved as part of that process. They are not required for events that form part of the usual business of places for which there is an existing public building approval. 

For more information on events that require a COVID Event Plan, visit COVID-19 coronavirus: Events.

COVID Safety Plans

Do COVID Safety Plans need to be updated? 

Venues that are able to increase their capacity should update their COVID Safety Plans to reflect this, however all venues should be regularly reviewing and updating their plans. 

Compliance

Are there still any fines or consequences in place for those who flout the capacity rules?

It may be an offence to fail to comply with the Directions. The maximum penalty for this offence is:

  • imprisonment for 12 months or a fine of $50,000
  • a fine of $5000 for each separate and further offence.

If the offence is committed by a company, the maximum fine is increased to $250,000. Breaches may also be dealt with by the issue of an on-the-spot infringement notice, which imposes a $1000 fine, or $5000 for a company. 

Page reviewed 12 April 2021